[/url" class="aligncenter"/> I received a question from a loyal reader the other day. Let’s pretend her name is Ying and that she is in the photo. Ying works in the PR world and has been thinking about moving jobs for while now, let’s hear what she has to say. Question: "I'm actively looking for a senior in-house PR/comms role in a large organization. Given the current competitive job market, is it more effective to go through recruitment agencies or to directly approach target companies?" Answer: Ying already knows what role she is looking for and possibly what companies as well. This means there is little need for using job boards, this is a case of how to pitch yourself to the employer. The market is very tough indeed and the best route to a new job is to get introduced to the company by someone credible. By that I mean someone the company trusts and that is willing to put their reputation on the line for you. This someone can either work for the company already, they could be a client or supplier or even a competitor. In a perfect world, we would have great contacts at every company we want to work for. Whenever we felt like moving jobs, we'd ring that particular contact up and they would introduce us to the right people. Some people have great networks and are actually close to this, but most of us don't and have to look at other options. Networking By getting to know people that work for your target company, you will get a way in. The best way to strike up these acquantancies would be to attend industry events, networking evenings and using social media online to get close to the right people. Networking will take time and a great deal of effort. Don't expect results to come in overnight and remember that being an effective networker is all about helping others and this way they will return the favor one day. Recruiters Using a recruiter basically means you are leveraging their network and contacts to get a new position. Some recruiters have great relationships with hiring managers and can smooth talk them into interviewing you, sometimes even when there is no position going. The recruiter route is quick and can be very effective, the downside is that it will cost the company money to hire you. By using a recuiter you are attaching a price tag to yourself, which for some companies can be an additional hurdle for you to get a job offer. Networking, recruiters... which is better then? I would say use both. The networking should really be an integral part to anyone's career management. The thing with networking is that you never know when a good opportunity comes up, typically when you least expect it. With recruiters it's more straightforward, they will only look at smoking hot positions that need to filled pronto. What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
[/url" class="aligncenter"/> Today, I spoke to Vincenzo Migliore, who is a Manchester (England) based recruitment veteran and founder/director of the website Judge the Job. Tell us Vincenzo, what is Judge the Job all about? Judge the Job is an anonymous employee review site that allows users to discover the real best companies to work for. How does it help people out there? We all know how difficult it can be to make a career move or decide whether or not to join a particular company, so the aim of Judge the Job is not to replace, but to provide another trusted and unbiased source of information, that helps in this process. Actually it's a little bit like therapy, helping you put things into perspective by encouraging you to take time out, to think about all the elements good and bad that make up your job. And actually after leaving a review… Well, it’s kind of satisfying. How many reviews are listed? We currently have almost 100 live reviews for a range companies from Lloyds TSB, British Airways, BT Group and more. What do companies think about being listed? Aah yes, interesting one! It really varies, some feel a little uncomfortable with the loss of control and concerned about what people will say, now that we are giving them the chance, whereas other companies, believe it or not, have actively asked their employees to visit the site and get involved, which is great! Does it cost anything? No, it's completely free to use and I quote, "we will never charge users to access reviews". In fact all we ask is that you submit a quick anonymous review in return for 12 months full access to the site. Reasons you started it up? Having worked in the recruitment industry I was becoming a little skeptical of so many companies offering so called 'great opportunities', and I realized it would be helpful if there was somewhere people could actually read first hand experiences for themselves. I also noticed how much time people seemed to be spending reading/writing reviews about holidays, restaurants, and even smaller purchases such as books and CDs.... Yet there seemed very few places for people to review one of the biggest parts of their lives, their jobs. So I set about creating Judge the Job; allowing users to anonymously discuss their experiences of working at particular companies. Is Judge the Job just for people to complain about their company? Well some might think so, but this something we work hard to avoid, we're aiming for balanced reviews of the workplace. Ok we understand people like to moan about work but on JudgetheJob, companies deserve a fair trial which is why we insist people put the good and bad points before completing their review - no company deserves 0%. After all there's always something good about your job - even if it's just the people you work with. Admittedly it is up to the users to make this work, the more information they share the more useful it will become as a career tool. But judgethejob.com isn't about anonymous ‘revenge’; it's about honest, open reviews and sharing of that information. All reviews are personally read and approved before they go live on the site. We've also put some pretty strict guidelines in place to make sure people treat the community and members with respect. Where are you taking your site next? The natural step for us is to include vacancies, something we are looking to introduce fairly soon. We're also constantly exploring new ways of developing and improving the site and in fact have something very special planned for the coming months....so watch this space! Give me 3 reasons why people should go to your site right now? You can access all reviews free of charge, you can read inside information on the companies you want to work for and finally you can get that much needed career therapy! Grazie mille for your time Vincenzo. Vincenzo Migliore is the founder of Judge the Job, a site that allows employees to anonymously read/write impartial reviews about their place of work. You can reach him via Twitter.
[/url" class="aligncenter"/> Got this question from a Linkedin contact today and thought I would share the answer with the world, and at the same time enlighten any other career advancers who are in the same boat. First off, let’s pretend the contact’s name is Carlos and mainly for comedy effect that he is the mustache sporting gentleman in the photo above. Second, let's look at the question: New internal gig, more wonga? “Can I ask you for an advice? If I am given an opportunity to change my role/responsibilities by moving to a different department in the same company, is it a good idea to ask for a raise? Thing is a new role has opened up in my company and open for internal people only. I am very much interested. As part of the process, I am required to go through interviews and other recruitment related stuff. I am thinking of asking for compensation raise when I am in the final round. Is this fine thing to do? If yes, what stage should I ask for it - final stage when everything is confirmed or at the first step even before applying for it?” Of course he should get more moolah There are really two questions here. The first is, should Carlos ask for raise when moving jobs internally? I would say yes he should. The new position could entail new tasks, more responsibilities or more travelling to different sites – these are all good reasons for giving someone a raise as they increase the workload, stress and learning curve for the employee. But what if the new position is merely a change of scenery, doing the exact same job but in another location? Carlos should still get a raise as he has to make changes in his life, and he is crucially taking a risk moving away from the safe confines of his current position. How much does one ask for? Carlos doesn’t want to rule himself out early in the process by making high demands. In my experience, he has nothing to fear as long as his request is reasonable and he can justify it. Asking for a 10% increase when taking on a new position is realistic, perhaps even 15%. If Carlos goes any higher than this, he could be treading on thin ice. What about the timing? Question number two is when does he ask for the pay hike? The more honest and upfront he is, the more he will be respected for it. There is nothing wrong in valuing your own work as long as you can back it up. I say he should prepare the reasons why a raise is justified and then mention it in the first interview. It can even work in Carlos’ favor if the hiring manager realizes that Carlos doesn’t sugar coat anything and speaks his mind on matters like these. Bottom line Going for a new internal position is a safer way of learning a new job in a tough economy. You are still taking a risk though and you deserve a reward for it. If you want something, you have to ask for it. And you have to be prepared to back your request up with a good case. As long as you provide value equal to, or exceeding your request – you are in the money. Go for it Carlos and please let us know how it went! What is your experience of moving jobs internally, more cash or just more work? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
[/url" class="aligncenter"/> Being on Linkedin with your full professional profile including previous employments, buzz and keywords means you are likely to be found by people looking your skills. When I say people, nine times out of ten it will be a recruiter. In order for them to contact you over Linkedin, they will have to either send an InMail or get introduced by a third person. InMails are limited/costly and introductions take time, therefore the recruiter may just try to connect with you direct. Sometimes you get a full introduction email stating why the person wants to link up with you. Sometimes you don’t at all, and you can only guess what the purpose is. Whatever the case may be, the big question is what to do with the invitation. Should you accept? The answer to this depends completely on your situation. If you are actively looking for a new position and everyone knows this, absolutely yes. If you are secretly looking for a new position and nobody knows about it, especially not your boss, the answer will be no. Does accepting mean I am looking for a job? Well, some people could interpret it that way. I would say it depends on the culture where you work. Some companies cultures are very open about people being headhunted, others are very secretive about it. If others are linking up to recruiters and get no grief for it, you will probably get away with it as well. Even if you are working for a business where being headhunted is a taboo, there can of course be several legitimate reasons to linking up with a recruiter. You might be involved in internal recruitment for your business. You might have changed jobs recently and it’s only natural to link up to the recruiter. If this isn’t the case however, you linking to a recruiter will raise a few eyebrows. You linking up to five recruiters in one week will send a few warning signals to your manager. But who will know? By adding the recruiter to your network, you are telling the world that you are now linked up as it will appear on both your and the recruiter’s home feeds. All your connections will be able to see it and they will draw their own conclusions. Can they now see my connection? Depending on your privacy settings, the recruiter will be able to see your first connections. Some recruiters will be very gentle about this and ask you for permission to speak to contacts of yours. Others will just go for it and call everyone up in an instant. By selecting "not allowed", you stop anyone from browsing your connections. Be aware that they will still come up in searches, there is no stopping that. Trick o’ the trade Accept invitations in bundles. Let’s say you have received four invitations, by accepting them all at the same time they will come up on your feed together. You would hope that your manager and other folks are too busy to check up every person you link up to and therefore you might just get away with linking up to a recruiter. Another way of doing it is the old bad-news-on-Facebook method; do it when you assume nobody will be seeing it. This could be a Saturday or even a Sunday night; people will hopefully have better things to do than trawling Linkedin at these times in the week. Bottom line As with all things on Linkedin and social media, be aware of the consequences of your actions. You are sharing your activities with the world so if you link up to recruiters, be prepared to answer questions. Do you accept recruiter invitations? If you are a recruiter, do you send unsolicited invitations? Share your thoughts in the comments!